 Multiplication is important, especially since it’s a skill that’s essential for Algebra down the road.  If your child doesn’t like multiplication, it’s frustrating for them and for you if you don’t know how to help.  Check out this cool trick for multiplying by 9 that you can use to jumpstart their interest.

Tell your child that even you, a really smart parent, has trouble with multiplication sometimes.

Take out a lined piece of paper and write the equations for multiples of 9, beginning with 9×0 and ending with 9×10.   Don’t include the answers and list one equation on each line like this:

9 x 0 =

9 x 1 =

9 x 2 =

9 x 4 = and so on

Tell your child that you know the easiest ones:  9 x 0 = 0 and 9×10 = 90.  Write those answers in.

Ask your child to count the number of equations you didn’t know, beginning with 9×1 like this:

9×1 = 1

9×2 = 2

9×3 = 3

9×4 = 4 and so on until you get to 9×9 = 8

Now grimace.  Scratch your head. (Really sell it.  Act like you’re a multiplication loser).  “I can’t believe I didn’t know 8 of those equations.  Count them for me again.”  But this time, have your child start at the bottom of the list with 9×9, and count upwards, like this:

9×9 = 8 1 (remember, the 8 is there because when your child counted down, he wrote that this was the 8th equation).

When you reach the top, you’ll see that all of the equations have the correct answer.  Pretty cool.

But what about multiplying all of the other numbers?  Because my girls have lots of energy and cannot keep still, I like to use exercise movements to engage them (and me) and help with retention.  Exercise is a brain-based method we use at Miracle Math Coaching that is very effective.

We actually perform multiplication dances, coordinating movements and sometimes rhymes with the multiplication facts. This generation is really musically driven, and you can leverage that in their academics.

It’s fun, and brain science says you’re a smart parent if you do:)